The last round of the war games, including a combined live fire exercise, was ended at Crow Valley in Tarlac province one day earlier. The exercises involved 500 Filipino soldiers and 1,400 American troops.

American Marines from the USS Germantown load military vehicles and other equipment back into their ship at noontime on Tuesday as they prepare to leave Subic port. The US warships that participated in the joint bilateral military exercises dubbed Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex 33) have all left as the war games ended earlier than scheduled.

It was not clear whether the early end of Phiblex 33 was a response to President Duterte’s recent assertion that the joint exercises were the last of his six-year presidency. These recent tirades by Mr Duterte against the US and EU met stiff criticism from ex-Pres Fidel Ramos who even helped Duterte win the presidency. And Ramos is known to be an American boy being ag rasduate of |West Point military school. So some people are suspecting whether all these tirades are part of a Moro Moro diplomacy in order to please as many allies as possible.

At the SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Four US warships left this free port and closing ceremonies were held in Taguig City on Tuesday, a day before the scheduled conclusion of this year’s joint military drills between Filipino and American troops.

The joint marine landing maneuvers called Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex 33) ended on Monday, although the drills were scheduled to run until the next day. Wednesday.

Capt. Ryan Lacuesta, director of the Philippine Marine Corps Public Affairs Office, said the major drills were completed on Monday.

Mr. Duterte, who identifies himself as a socialist, has also said he wants US forces out of Mindanao so he can talk peace with Moro separatists on the island who have not forgotten US atrocities there during the Moro wars of the early 20th century.

US officials say, however, that despite Mr. Duterte’s public remarks, his administration has made no formal requests to halt any programs. Nor has it followed up on Mr. Duterte’s threat to eject US forces from Mindanao, where a rotating force of 50 to 100 troops helping the Philippine Army combat Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Many say it was again a sampler of Duterte’s either double talk, or a sign of his perceived insecurity being new in office, whose biggest asset is his political will on the war on drugs and criminality.

So how can Duterte talk peace with the Muslims if they are together here with arch enemy the US is around? So this could perhaps be one of the strategies of RRD in order to gain as many allies as possible both from the left and the right. Big wonder if this double talk is credible if not sustainable.

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